• 3 familiar Duterte appointees



    FOREIGNERS contributed 55 percent of the market’s total trade value of P44.622 billion from May 15 to May 20 this year, according to the weekly report by the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

    In the same report, the PSE said foreigners accounted for 52 percent of the year-to-date total trade of P659.379 billion.

    The market’s performance in the week following the May 9 election was much better than the comparable period last year. As of May 1, 2015, the “% of foreign to total” year-to-date trades even dropped to 48 percent.

    All these numbers show the local market’s dependence on foreigners in previous years. Their participation dropped to a low of 47 percent in the week ended April 30, 2015.

    In a separate market report, the PSE said “% of foreign to total” year-to-date trades dropped to 48 percent as of May 1, 2015. As of April 30, 2015, the percentage of foreigners’ trades in local stocks fell to 47 percent of the total and to 46 percent as of March 6.

    No one knows if stocks had already seen the worst when the year-to-date foreign transactions as of Jan. 30, 2015 accounted for only 44 percent. The 12-month report showed market capitalization at P14.53 trillion.

    No politics, please
    The erratic behavior of the stock market should not be blamed on politics. Politics has nothing to do with the trade volume. Neither do winning or losing politicians influence share prices.

    It may not be safe to even presume that the PSE index (PSEi) would score an unusual gain as an expression of gratitude to Malacañang’s chief temporary occupant and his appointees who will leave office on June 30. The interpretation of such a rally will depend on which President, the outgoing or incoming, an analyst will favor.

    It may not be fair to the outgoing President, either, if a rise in share prices is attributed to the incoming President. If this were to be the gauge of the market’s performance, then traders should have accumulated as many shares as possible for future sale.

    The good news, though, is that foreigners are not about to abandon listed stocks. As of May 20, their exposures accounted for 52 percent of total trades on 254 stocks.

    It is not a question of whether foreign funds will stay or not. Rather, the local investors among the public would keenly watch how their foreign counterparts would behave in the first few months of the presidency of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

    Familiar faces
    Only three of the appointees of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte look familiar to me. Manny Piñol used to cover the transportation beat. I met him at the Land Transportation Office, which was then headed by Col. Mariano Santiago. He was then a reporter for Philippine News Agency and I was a correspondent of Balita.

    Lawyer Perfecto R. Yasay Jr. invited me to a cup of coffee Tuesday last week. We did talk briefly about his appointment as foreign affairs acting secretary but we did not talk about what his priorities would be at the Department of Foreign Affairs. He did extend an invitation to me to join him in his new endeavor, which I politely refused. I am now having second thoughts about the invitation.

    Who am I to forget Mr. Yasay? He brought me to the Senate impeachment court that tried then President Joseph Estrada. My testimony as his corroborative witness “cost” me my job as business editor of The Daily Tribune.

    It was at the SEC where I met I Mr. Yasay, who was initially appointed an associate commissioner by President Fidel V. Ramos. He eventually assumed the SEC chairmanship. I was then a business reporter.

    I remember Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez, who was agriculture secretary under President Corazon C. Aquino. He would remember me if he could still recall the “wet and dry season” joke told by Mike Marasigan of Business Day.

    Yes, Mr. Dominguez had a good laugh during that particular press conference. I may not remember the agriculture story that I should have written but I will not forget a laughing agri secretary and the joke that was on me.



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